Carefully Knit


I have a pair of bed socks in the drawer next to my bed. They are pale green with a white band around the top, and they’re beginning to stretch now, because I wear them so often. They even have little balls of fluff all over, because they’re made of wool, and—well, that’s what happens to wool when you wash it. Just the same, I plan to keep using my bed socks for a long time, because of what they help me remember.

There was a girl in our branch (I’ll call her Susan). I could not get along with her. Whatever she did, I didn’t like. Not once did my antagonism find vocal expression, but it was always there, smoldering under the surface.

I knew my feelings were wrong and I made a real effort to be “nice,” but my attempts at friendliness were always a little strained. We seemed to get on best when I saw her least.

Our seminary teacher was a man concerned with love. He loved each member of his class and wanted us to do the same. Every week each of us received a letter from him with comments on our work and brief quotations that he felt were applicable to each of us individually. Often his letters to me would contain quiet little suggestions about needing people and the value of friendship. But being young and fiercely independent, I shrugged off his advice, saying, “Oh, there he is, going on about love again.” The incident I would like to relate took place in March, soon after the beginning of my second year in the same class as Susan. My birthday was early in March, and a day or two later was our weekly class. (We have home-study seminary and attend class once a week.)

The lesson went off much as usual, and after the closing prayer people began to leave. I was packing my books away when Susan, who was sitting in front of me, turned around and wished me happy birthday. As I smiled and thanked her, she shyly, and a little awkwardly, handed me a gift, saying, “This is for you. It’s just something small.”

I unwrapped the package. Inside was a bottle of bath oil and a pair of bed socks which Susan herself had knitted. I was touched. She had given me a gift, not just something hastily purchased during a rushed hour but something she had spent time making for me. I felt grateful and humbled.

I had never worn bed socks before, but I wear those green bed socks every winter. And each time I put them on my feet I remember Susan and her generosity and forgiving heart. Her knitting and the willingness to love that went with it have taught me a lesson that will last many years longer than the gift itself.

[photo] Photography by Craig Dimond